Of Mice and Men

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James Jenkins
ELA 10 3rd hour
Larsen
3/11/09

Of Mice And Men

Of Mice and Men is a novel filled with suprises and tells the tale of George and Lennie, an unlikely pair traveling together in the face of loneliness and alienation. The two find themselves working as lowly farm hands, who must work together to achieve their dream. It seems like an easy task, but Lennies mental condition brings problems that could affect their dream and their lives. In Of Mice and Men, Lennie is the biggest victim of society. This is evident through Lennies role in the development of the themes loneliness and being treated poorly.

Steinbeck uses both direct and indirect characterization very well throughout the book, especially with Lennie. He uses direct when George is talking to Slim and says “’Course he aint mean. But he gets in trouble alla time because he;s so god damn dumb (41).” He talks about Lennie directly and doesn’t beat around the bush. Steinbeck uses indirect when he says “Lennie dipped his whole head under, hat and all, and then he sat up on the bank and his hat dripped down on his blue coat and ran down his back (3).” This makes the fact that Lennie is mentally challenged very apparent and shows a lot about Lennie.

Lennie gets in many conflicts throughout this story and his conflicts shape how George and Lennies life turn out. As George is telling Lennie about the farm they want to buy, he says “‘we’d have a setter dog and a couple stripe cats, but you gotta watch out them cats don’t get the little rabbits.’ Lennie breathed hard. ‘You just let ‘em try to get the rabbits, I’ll break their god damn necks. I’ll… I’ll smash ‘em with a stick (58).” This sudden burst of anger shows Lennies anger problem, and how when something threatens his dream he can get upset and cause problems. The biggest problem caused by Lennies anger is shown at the end of the book in this quote. “Don’t you go yellin’.” he said, and he shook her; and her body flopped like a fish....
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